Finding your purpose is magical. It allows you to align with your truth, to be more connected and gives you a reason to live.
Most of us don’t even know where to begin when it comes to finding purpose.
We search high and low for the missing piece, looking at others for inspiration when actually…
…The answers are within. Not out there.
We need to be willing to pause, ask and listen to our inner wisdom to discover our path.
In this post, we will explore in details how to do that.
Step 1. Make space.
Have you ever tried hearing someone talking over loud music? It’s hard, right?
Well it’s the same here.
Social media, Netflix, a long to-do list at work and a busy schedule clutter our minds beyond measure.
Our intuition is continuously talking to us, guiding us but we just can’t hear anything over all the noise.
Here a few effective ways to reduce your mind clutter so you can “hear” better.
- Media fast: switch off the radio, stay away from social media, Netflix, Youtube and anything else that clutters your mind for at least 7 days.
The trance-like state induced by TV makes your subconscious mind suggestible to whatever it is that you are watching. So whatever you “ingest” on TV / video, your subconscious accepts and integrates more easily.
- Declutter : one of the best ways to make space in your mind is to tackle your physical clutter.
- Time off: if possible take time off and go off on your own little retreat for at least a day or two. Go take a walk on the beach, in the forest, sit in silence, journal, meditate, do some yoga and embrace the silence around you.
- Mind dumping: journal every morning (or whenever you find time). Put down your to-do list on the paper and write down everything that bugs you however big or small. This is a great way to get all your “mind clutter” out onto the paper and therefore quite effective to clear your mind.
Know that silence might feel uncomfortable at first. You might find yourself craving noise but the more you practice being in silence, the more you will enjoy it.
Step 2. Trust your intuition (and train it).
The celebrated Steve Jobs got introduced to zen meditation as he was travelling through India when he was just 19. Years of regular practice allowed him to hone his intuitive power which he later credited to his success.
Intuition was his guidance system. It helped him make the right decisions in his career as well was in his personal life.
Intuition is more powerful than intellect. Steve Jobs
What if, like Steve Jobs, we could all have access to a guidance system that helps us make decisions in all that we do? What if we could just know that we are on the right path?
Somewhere along the way, we stopped trusting our intuition
- Intuition is as old as time. Primitive humans used it to find food, shelter and survive in general. But somewhere along the way, as our homes got drier and our fridges full, we lost the need to cultivate it.
- We live in a left brain world; one that rewards logic, a world where “seeing is believing”, where anything that’s not backed up by science is invalidated.
We have been taught to suppress our right brain activity, the one that governs intuition from a young age. So, today, trying to use it would be like running a 20K without ever having ran before. It would feel unnatural, difficult and we would end up giving up.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR INTUITION
Intuition is like a muscle. The more we train it, the stronger it gets.
So how do we train it?
Do you have to make a decision? Now is the time to test your intuition. However big or small the choice, your intuition has all the answers. All you need to do is ask and listen.
- Set an intention: “I trust my intuition to show me the way”
- Ask a question: Should I go right or left? Should I give up or go on? Should I go to this school or to that school? Should I move? Should I choose this house or the other one?
- Now listen to the answer. Pay attention to what you hear, see and to the way you feel.
The answer might look different for everyone:
- Some will hear a little voice inside their head
- Some will feel it in the pit of their stomach and just know what they they should do
- Some will feel heavy if it’s the wrong choice and light when it’s the right decision.
- Some will see images, pictures.
Step 3. Reconnect with yourself.
Inside is where the magic starts. Not outside.
Inside is where we cultivate strength, confidence and self-worth. And only from the inside can we develop more intelligence and creativity.
Only when you take the time to reflect and be with yourself can you get to know yourself better and get closer to finding your purpose.
Here are the most effective ways to do that:
- Alone time: spend time on your own as often as you can and immerse yourself in the silence around. It might be uncomfortable to sit in silence at first but with practice, you will learn to appreciate it.
- Meditate: Meditation is probably one of the best ways to raise your awareness and reconnect with your higher self. Meditate at least once or twice a day. If you are beginner, take a class at your yoga studio or at a meditation centre so you can meditate effectively.
- Breathing exercises: breathing brings you back to the here and now. This combined with meditation and / or yoga is a powerful combo to increase mindfulness.
- Yoga: yoga helps you get to higher levels of consciousness and increase mindfulness.
- Walks in the nature: whether in the forest, on top of a mountain or at the beach, spending time with Mother Nature is a powerful way to reconnect with yourself.
STEP 4: Investigate your past for clues.
Throughout our lives, we have acquired and integrated beliefs that create our reality today. Our belief system is often composed of ideas or opinions of others that we accepted as our truth.
Kids, as opposed to adults, are free spirits. They live their own truths. They haven’t yet been “moulded” or “corrupted” by education or collective beliefs.
So for a few short years, we are in tune with who we really are and are therefore able to follow our intuition and passions.
And that’s why a great way to soul-search is to look back to your childhood years.
Look as far back as you can and ask yourself.
- What did I love as a child? What did I spend hours doing? (crafting, writing poems, stories, drawing, taking pictures, playing doctor, teach your siblings something?)
- What did I dream of becoming, being?
- What made me tick?
STEP 5: Follow your passion.
Following your passion is probably the easiest way to get closer to your purpose.
How do you know what you feel passionate about?
Monitor your emotions.
What excites you? Makes you feel happy, alive? Gives you energy? When you follow what makes you feel alive, nothing can go wrong.
Do you have too many passions? Use it to your advantage. Blend them all together and create something that nobody else does.
- Take a piece of paper
- In 20 minutes write down all the things that make you tick, excite you, make you feel happy, energized.
- Do not censor yourself. There are no right or wrong answers.
STEP 6: Get to know yourself.
Getting to know yourself is essential to find your own unique purpose.
Who are you? What are your challenges? Your fears? Your strengths? Your self-limiting beliefs?
1. Take a personality test
Are you an introvert / extrovert? analytical? are you a leader? an action taker? are you more operational or strategic?
Identifying your gifts will in turn help you achieve your purpose.
If you feel that you don’t know yourself well enough, then journaling is probably the best place to start. Spend 20 minutes every day journaling your life, thoughts, emotions. After a couple of weeks, read your journal and you will start seeing themes / patterns. Understanding your struggles, fears and challenges will help you overcome them.
3. Calculate your life path
Calculating your life path number is super fun and easy to do and it can tell you a lot about your personality traits, strengths, weaknesses and challenges ahead.
STEP 7: Put the pieces together.
Now bring it all together into a mind map.
- Draw a circle in the middle of the page and write Purpose in it.
- Draw four lines going in different directions and title each section:
- Childhood memories
- Personality + Journal conclusions
- Under each section make a summary of your conclusions
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. -Lao Tzu
- what messages popped up during your meditation, alone time in nature, or just as you go about your day?
- which direction is your intuition sending you?
- what is your heart / gut telling you about purpose?
- what did you love doing as a child?
- what kind of person were you?
- what did you dream to become?
- what are you excited about?
- What do you love doing?
- What makes you feel happy / alive?
- what did you learn from journaling?
- what did you learn from the personality test? What are your strengths? Skills?
- what are your life’s path and soul purpose numbers? What did you learn from it?
- Once each is completed, tape the paper to the wall and look at the full picture.
- Take time to read through everything again, taking it all in.
- By now, you should see recurring patterns, themes popping up in the different sections.
Through step 1, 2 and 3 you might have already come to a conclusion of what your purpose is or at least be well on your way.
If not, go back to step 1, 2 and 3, continue to make space around you, find silence and tune back into your intuition.
Soul-searching is a fun and exciting process. It might take some time and dedication to figure out what your purpose is but the end goal is well worth the effort. Living with purpose is magical. It allows you to create a life you love, that makes you excited to get up day after day, month after month.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. -Lao Tzu